"Pantoum: But You Are Gone" by Richard Hoffman

          i.m. RJH 1950-1972

I thought for a long time
if I was very quiet
for a long time
I might recall your voice.

If I was very quiet
I might long for you so long
I might recall your voice
as if my ear could sift the wind.

I might long for you so long,
for words you had spoken,
as if my ear could sift the wind
for things you said,

for words you had spoken,
that if I searched my memory
for things you said,
I might find you again;

that if I searched my memory
for a long time,
I might find you again
I thought for a long time.

 

 Richard Hoffman is author of the poetry collections, Without Paradise, Gold Star Road, winner of the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Motton Book Award, and Emblem, as well as the short story collection Interference & Other Stories, and the celebrated memoir, Half the House. He teaches at Emerson College, and currently serves as Chair of PEN New England.